For SEO beginners, tackling technical SEO can be tricky. But with the SEO environment becoming more and more competitive, businesses or online marketers can no longer shy away from learning technical SEO and how to perform regular technical SEO health checks on websites. Your website must be crawlable, fast, and secure if you want that top spot on search engines.
There is not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to performing SEO technical checks. There are a variety of factors that could affect the need for technical analysis on your website.
But before we get started, letâ€™s first get to know more about technical SEO in general.
What Is Technical SEO?
This refers to enhancing the technical aspects of your website to increase the ranking of your web pages on search engines. When you boost loading speeds, make your website easier to crawl, and make your content understandable for search engines, this overall increases optimization. Technical SEO is part of on-page SEO. It focuses on enhancing elements on your website to boost your search engine rankings.
Why Is Technical SEO Important?
Search engines want to show their users the best possible results for their query, especially Google. Thatâ€™s why Googleâ€™s robots crawl and evaluate web pages on different factors. Some factors include user experiences or UX. Other factors include if your pages are readable enough for search engine robots to grasp. This is what structured data does, among other things. So when you improve the technical aspect of your website, you make it easier for search engines to crawl and understand your site. If you do this exceptionally, your website might be rewarded with higher positions on search engines or even rich results.
Of course, this also goes the other way. If you make technical mistakes on your website, it can cost you a ranking. You might block search engines from crawling your site by accidentally adding a trailing slash in the wrong place of your robots.txt file.
But of course, itâ€™s a misconception that itâ€™s only the technical details of your website that make or break your search rankings. Your website should be able to cater to usersâ€™ needs and function well. It must be user-friendly, fast, and responsive, among others. Creating a strong technical foundation must coincide with building an excellent user experience for your web visitors.
What Are SEO Audits?
This is the process of evaluating your website to see how it is performing on search engines. Itâ€™s also a great way to make actionable plans to be a step ahead of your competitors and identify opportunities for your business in the online marketing sphere. In addition, it can help you find and fix exit points, as well as create a better customer experience for your target market on your website.
Your business must perform SEO audits regularly, whether itâ€™s technical, on-page, or off-page SEO audits.
But today, we will be tackling more on technical SEO audits. What should you check for your technical SEO audit?
How to Perform Technical SEO Audits
- The Website Must Be Crawlable
Despite writing pages and pages of excellent content, it wonâ€™t be seen by your target audience if search engines cannot crawl and index these web pages. With this, you need to start assessing your robots.txt file. This file is the first point of call for any crawling software when it arrives at your website. In your robots.txt file, it outlines which parts of your website should and should not be crawled. This happens by â€œallowingâ€ or disallowingâ€ the behavior or certain user agents. The robots.txt file is publically available when adding /robots.txt to the end of any root domain.
- Make Sure Your Website Is Indexable
Indexing is the process of storing every web page in a vast database. Google discovers new web pages by crawling the web and add the pages on websites to their index. When your relevant pages are not indexable, then you canâ€™t expect them to appear on search engine rankings.
To check if your website is indexed in Google, you can use Google Search Console to have a full comprehensive report on your websiteâ€™s index status.
- Double-Check Your Sitemap Regularly
Never underestimate the importance of a comprehensive and structured sitemap. Your XML sitemap is a map of your website to Google and other search engine crawlers. It helps crawlers search and rank your website pages.
So what are the important elements to consider when creating an effective sitemap?
- It should be formatted properly in an XML document
- It should follow the XML sitemap protocol
- Make sure to only include canonical versions of URLs
- Avoid including â€œnoindexâ€ URLs
- Include all the new pages youâ€™ve added to your website
Should you be using the YOAST SEO plugin on your website, it can create an XML sitemap for you. Make sure your sitemap has all the important pages, does not have the pages you donâ€™t want Google to index, and is structured correctly.
- Your Website Must Be Mobile-Friendly
Google has now updated to implement mobile-first indexing, which means that instead of using the desktop versions of the page for ranking and indexing, they will be using the mobile version. This is because Google wants to keep up with how users are engaging with content online. And with 52% of global internet traffic now comes from mobile devices, ensuring your website is mobile-friendly is crucial.
You can use Googleâ€™s Mobile-Friendly Test to check if your page is mobile responsive and easy to use. Input your domain, and it will show you how the page is rendered for mobile and indicate if itâ€™s mobile-friendly enough.
- Audit Your Websiteâ€™s Page Speed
Your websiteâ€™s page speed is also a ranking factor. Having a website thatâ€™s fast, responsive, and user-friendly is always an advantage.
You can check your websiteâ€™s page speed by checking out Google PageSpeed Insights, which is a free Google Tool in which it gives your website a score of â€œFast,â€ â€œAverage,â€ or â€œSlowâ€ on both mobile and desktop. It also includes recommendations on how you can improve your page speed.
Want to know what could be killing your website speed? Check out our previous article to learn more.
- Check Any Duplicate Content
Check if your website has any duplicate content. Know that web pages that have the same content are a no-no for SEO. Google does not like multiple copies of the same information, so make sure every page has unique content. If you have web pages with the same content, Google will have a hard time knowing what to rank in Search Engine Results Pages, ultimately giving the spot to your competitorâ€™s web pages.
These are just some of the things you need to do to conduct an SEO audit.
Do You Need Help in Running SEO Audits on Your Website?
Learning the elements of technical SEO can be difficult for a business owner who wants to focus more on getting more customers and running their business. Performing regular SEO can also be a lot on their plate.
If youâ€™re struggling with putting your website out into the web, let our online marketing specialists help you. We have a team of experts who are well versed in the latest strategies in SEO and local SEO. They can also conduct regular site audits to make sure that your website is running smoothly and that Google can go through your web pages seamlessly.
When it comes to your online marketing and website development needs, partner with our team at Binary Ideas today.